NZ China Mayoral Forum to explore trade and investment
New Zealand China Mayoral Forum to explore trade and investment opportunities
New Zealand mayors are preparing to explore innovative trade and investment opportunities with China’s local government leaders at a ground-breaking Mayoral Forum next week in Xiamen City, China.
Paving the way as the first of its kind, the Forum led by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) President Lawrence Yule and hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) supports the strengthening exchange between mayors and governors from both countries, and will focus on development opportunities within New Zealand's tourism, education and primary industries.
The Forum represents the largest delegation of New Zealand civic leaders to have ever visited China, with 12 mayors representing many of the country’s cities and regions, as well as business and educational leaders from across New Zealand attending.
Mr Yule says the visit shows commitment from local government to developing strong regional economies across New Zealand.
“China is our biggest trading partner and as such our relationship with them is extremely important to our economy. Current projections show China’s outbound investment is estimated to exceed US$1.25 trillion over the next 10 years and we want to ensure that New Zealand, and most importantly our regions, attract some of this investment,” says Mr Yule.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit last November, Mr Jinping and Prime Minister John Key witnessed Mr Yule and President of CPAFFC Madam Li Xiaolin sign an agreement to establish better connections between New Zealand and more than 600 cities and provinces in China.
This year an additional agreement, the Xiamen declaration, will be signed by New Zealand and Chinese mayors, detailing the Forum’s intent to improve relations and work towards the advancement of economic development outcomes for the people of both countries. The declaration will help to build New Zealand’s sub-national trade and investment strategy, supporting LGNZ’s regional development policy.
"Having an agreement with one of the world’s largest economies is a significant step to supporting regional economic growth.”
“Since the 2008 signing of the free trade agreement with China, New Zealand exports have risen from NZ$2.2 billion to NZ$8.3 billion. The deepening of relationships at a sub-national level opens the door for further trade and investment,” says Mr Yule.